February 2, 2023

Filipino mixed martial arts rising star Danny “The King” Kingad lost to Demetrius Johnson of United States in the ONE flyweight world Grand Prix, but the former earned much respect from the mixed martial arts community.
The 24-year-old Kingad went toe-to-toe with Johnson but the 12-time world champion and MMA pound-for-pound king managed to bring the fight on the ground to secure a unanimous decision victory in Tokyo, Japan on Oct. 13.
But while Johnson is considered a knockout artist, he seemed hesitant prolonging the stand-up fight with the Igorot fighter, who is a Philippine wushu champion before he turned professional fighter.
Younger by nine years, Kingad successfully defended on the mat all submission attempts by the American fighter, who is known for his world-class wrestling skills.
Johnson has acknowledged he has fought a tough fighter in Kingad, as he failed either to knockout or submit the Filipino fighter.
“Yeah, it was good,” he said. “Danny Kingad and the Team Lakay guys are very good at exploding – getting you where you think you have solidified a submission or a position, then they just explode,” Johnson said.
Johnson improved his record to 30 wins and three losses while Kingad dropped to 13 wins and two losses.
With the win, Johnson will take a break before ONE arranges a title showdown between the American victor and reigning ONE flyweight world champion Adriano Moraes next year.
Meanwhile, the much-anticipated fourth title rematch between reigning ONE bantamweight world champion Bibiano Fernandes and Kevin Belingon ended early when the Brazilian champion finished the bout via rear-naked choke in the second stanza of their five-round bout.
Fernandes and Belingon traded leg kicks in the opening minute before Fernandes went for a takedown, dominating the first round on the ground before he went for the rear-naked choke win in the second round.
Former ONE featherweight world champion Honorio Banario tapped out to Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki who went for a D’ Arce choke, ending the fight in 54 seconds of the opening round. – Harley F. Palangchao